Das Nasobēm - (2010)
medium or low voice and piano
seinen Nasen schreitet
einher das Nasobēm,
von seinem Kind begleitet.
Es steht noch nicht im Brehm.
Es steht noch nicht im Meyer.
Und auch im Brockhaus nicht.
Es trat aus meiner Leyer
zum ersten Mal ans Licht.
Auf seinen Nasen schreitet
(wie schon gesagt) since then,
von seinem Kind begleitet,
einher das Nasobēm.
pages, circa 2' 20" ]
its noses strides
All about the Nasobēm,
Accompanied with its child.
It's not yet found in Brehm's Lives of Animals.
It's not yet found in Meyer's Lexicon,
Nor is it in the Brockhaus Encyclopedia.
It flowed out of my musings
As first it came to light.
Upon its noses strides
(As said before) since then,
Accompanied with its child,
And goes the Nasobēm.
Christian Morgenstern's Nasobēm (humorously termed Nasobema lyricum
by those who pseudo-studied it) is an imaginary creature, far more timid
than Lewis Carroll's Jabberwock and described as a dog-size animal that
walked on four snouts, and was named in the poet's honor. Throughout the
genre of science fiction and fantasy, all sorts of creatures have been
imagined -- and most importantly, given names to render them somehow more
real. Morgenstern's odd use of the vowel - ē - adds to the fictional quality
of the creature. In my further private research I have found that the
Nasobēm not only walks on its noses, but is a musical creature and creator
of the Nasobēcedesocembalo, something between a canine hurdy-gurdy and a
silk handkerchief, though sounding six octaves wider.
might the sound of the Nasobēm call be? Morgenstern tells us by the
inclusion of the word "seitdem" that the creature sprang from the name.
Therefore its call must spring from something equally nosy. Fearsome to
some, we know it to be a blustery mating call.
setting concludes with a repetition of the creature's name, sung as a memory
aid -- or perhaps hearing aid.
The score for
Das Nasobēm is available as a free PDF download, though any major
commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior
arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this